For many, a position of employment serves as a vital source of independence and identity, not to mention an essential method of earning a living. Such arrangements are not one-sided in nature, however, as employers also stand to gain by having enterprise-critical services performed in exchange for a fair wage.
Sadly, however, it is all too common for interactions between these parties to devolve into disagreements over wages, overtime or perhaps even unlawfully discriminatory conduct in the workplace. If you have been wronged while on the job, a Georgia employment lawyer is prepared to assist. Call our employment firm today to discuss what legal options may be available to you and the steps that you can take to hold your employer responsible.
In a general sense, Georgia is considered to be an employer-friendly jurisdiction. With that said, employees who have been treated contrary to applicable laws are afforded opportunities to pursue appropriate remedies.
Employers statewide are required to comply with a series of state and federal mandates in this realm, as well as any related municipal rules or regulations.
Aggrieved workers must keep in mind that despite the imbalance of power often at play in the workplace, the law provides them with a series of important protections.
There are several statutory enactments in Georgia designed to protect employees from unjust practices in the workplace. The Georgia Equal Pay Equal Work Act provides that enterprises employing at least 10 individuals are required to pay the same wage to both males and females who perform the same work under the same conditions.
There are certain exceptions that can apply, however, and a Georgia employment attorney can review the facts of each case to determine whether a valid claim against an employer exists.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the pivotal federal statute prohibiting discrimination in employment related to things such as race, national origin, gender, religion, age and similar factors.
A state counterpart is the Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act, which protects those working in state agencies that have at least 15 employees.
Certain municipalities within the state have also enacted prohibitions on discrimination based on sexual orientation, further expanding the protection afforded covered employees.
Other critical statutes intended to safeguard employees’ rights to fair treatment include the Georgia Age Discrimination Act, the Equal Employment for Persons with Disabilities Code, the Common Day of Rest Act and Georgia’s Right-to-Work protections.
When an employee suspects they have been subjected to unlawful treatment under state or federal law, it is necessary to follow specific administrative steps before a suit may commence.
Complaints under the Georgia Fair Employment Practice Act must first be lodged with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity. Claims that are based on federal statute must be initiated with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A seasoned Georgia employment law practitioner can guide clients through the appropriate process in a timely manner so that the right to pursue compensation is not forfeited.
Another significant way in which employees may be unlawfully treated in the workplace is through the theft of wages and violation of overtime rules.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act provides that with some exceptions, workers in Georgia must be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and also outlines the maximum number of hours an employee can be required to work before they are entitled to overtime pay.
The statute also articulates rules for mandatory breaks, record keeping practices and pay schedules with which employers must comply. Violations of these rules can give rise to civil penalties as well as the requirement to remit back pay and liquidated damages to complainants.
The realm of employment law is incredibly vast and encompasses a wide range of potentially improper scenarios. An experienced employment attorney in Georgia will be able to provide aggressive representation to those who have been subjected to:
When unfair treatment on the job jeopardizes your ability maintain gainful employment, it may feel as though there is nowhere to turn. The power balance between you and your employer may appear insurmountable, but it is important for workers to remember that they enjoy substantial legal protections they are entitled to assert.
A Georgia employment lawyer can conduct a thorough examination of the facts at play and provide the tireless advocacy you deserve.